What to do when someone dies

A guide to the first steps in arranging a funeral.

Transfer and care of the body

When somebody dies the most important consideration is to transfer them from the place of death. If they have passed away and are in a Public Hospital or with the State Coroner, there is less rush. If your loved one is in a private home, private hospital or aged care home, things are a little more urgent.

Public Hospital

To arrange collection from a public hospital simple call us and we will make arrangements for the necessary medical documents to be completed and release into our care. Your loved one will be safely and securely held in their mortuary until ready.

State Coroner

A special authority form will be completed by us on your behalf. Once this form is lodged it may take 5-10 days for release to be granted. While we can plan the funeral during this time a set date and time cannot be confirmed.

Private Home or Aged Care

When someone dies a Doctor needs to certify that they have passed. This doesn't need to be the usual treating doctor, a locum or any other Doctor will be sufficient. Once they have been to see the deceased we can be called to bring the deceased into our care. They will be taken our mortuary.

Until we have all the required medical documentation we do not touch your loved one in any way. We do not undertake any invasive procedures (such as embalming), we avoid heavy makeup and leave the body in its natural state.

The Funeral Service

When the day of the funeral arrives we will bring your loved safely and securely to the venue you have selected for the service to take place.

The following is designed to help you plan a personal service appropriate to the nature of your loved one.

Conducting the service.

The person leading the service will ensure the right words, feeling and tone is conveyed during the service. You may have a family friend, minister, celebrant or somebody else that may be chosen. The following gives you an idea how to structure the right tone for the service.


A celebrant is a non-religious leader of the service. There are two types of celebrants available: A Staff Celebrant or Civil Celebrant. A staff celebrant will lead a service and read out things the family provide about the person, setting the right tone. A Civil Celebrant will visit you at the family home to help design a personal ceremony. They usually charge between $275-$400


Some people prefer the choice of their own minister to lead a service. You are welcome to approach them in the first instance and we can either hold the service in a church, a cemetery chapel or graveside. If you don't have someone specific we can arrange someone to be present on your behalf from your loved ones faith.


Most of our services are held in a chapel at either Enfield Memorial Park or Centennial Park. We also hold services graveside, Partridge House Glenelg, private homes, Belair National Park and religious locations. When it comes down to it, a funeral can be held anywhere as long as the owner gives permission.

The Ceremony

There are many aspects to a funeral service. Here are a few things that can personalise the ceremony which we hope you find helpful.

Carrying the coffin

For church and graveside services this is more important and meaningful. It is a good way for family and friends to be part of the service. Generally, due to time constraints, the coffin is already in place for chapel services as it facilitates more time for a viewing prior to the service.

Music and words

What type of music played always sets the tone. We have over 2,000 songs already available of all genres. The words spoken, both by the family as part of the eulogy and celebrant also set the tone.

We encourage families who speak to speak from the heart. Its more personal and honest. We often suggest to say what the deceased meant to them, how they have influenced a life, and how they will be missed.


A eulogy, if you choose to incorporate one, can be as formal or as informal as you'd like it to be.

The committal

The committal is traditionally the moment when we say goodbye to the person who has died. It is normally without any form or religion when provided by our celebrants unless you specifically request.


Family and friends can bring their own flowers from a local florist or even from their gardens. WE can also provide flowers from our preferred florists.